Ball head advantage: flexible, can be used to turn the gigapan 90" so cam is directly looking to nadir. disadvantage: weight.
Pan and Tilt advantage: - disadvantage: not stable, shaking because of shutterrelease
Leveler advantage: flexible, best leveling in short time disadvantage: cant support you for nadir images
so to get perfect combination, I would use a leveler and a ballhead in combination (if this does not lead to more unstability & more shaking). if luxury is not so a must have than the ballhead allone is also a good solution.
Total beginner here so any and all advice appreciate. I'm about to purchase a head to use with my GigaPan pro. Camera and lens will weigh around 5lbs, and gigapan head will weigh 7 lbs. Going to use an Induro tripod which supports 22lbs, but i'm pretty stuck on the best type of head to buy. Based on your experience would you recommend one of the below? Is there anything in particular I should be taking into account here? What are the benefits/drawbacks of each of the below types?
Putting the Gigapan, or any other robotic head, onto the center-column of a good, heavy and sturdy tripod - here many people make the first mistake shooting panos: inadaequate tripods - and that´s it. Every (!) further device between the head and the tripod weakens the stability you need for highres panos - i guess that´s why you bought the Gigapan for. For shooting spheres there are other, better, options.
If you want something you´ve never had, then you´ve got to do something you´ve never done.
Arca Swiss Cube should solve your problem ;-) it works for me, but as Klaus says if your legs or any other part is weak, then the sum of it all is weak.
for legs i use Carbon fibre Gitzo 1548 (yes, its getting old, but can easily carry a 600mm f/4 lens and Pro Body), I also use one of the newer Manfrotto CF, don't remember the model number, but its has about 2+ meters high when fully raised, it does have a center column, but i don;t use that. Again this is rated for very heavy gear too.
Before I got the Arca Swiss Cube, I was using a Manfrotto 410 junior head, and it didn't occur to me that I was getting vibration in my pano's till i replaced it...
for ballhead, i use again an Arca Swiss B1 but i prefer a geared head for pano's